A lot of people would kill to hang out at a bar and drink beer on the clock. For Minneapolis Pabst Brewing representative Craig Drehmel, it's part of the job description.
"I tell people my job is to support local music and art and help create a community," Drehmel says. "I like to think I'm helping create social harmony through cheap, honest beer."
Drehmel handles all of the local sponsorships, promotional events and advertising for the Pabst Blue Ribbon brand, and a big part of that is being out at shows. "It's amazing what you can get done at 1 in the morning wearing jeans and a T-shirt that you could never get done during the day wearing a collared shirt," he says.
Drehmel happened into the beer business after taking a side gig at a liquor store while working an unfulfilling day job as a copywriter. Eventually he turned to alcohol full-time, working at a couple of beer and wine distributors selling to bars, stores and restaurants. Before long, he snagged the PBR gig.
But it's more than just schmoozing at bars and throwing cool parties. Drehmel says he spends a good deal of time on the computer sending e-mails and completing paperwork, at crew drives with salespeople trying to make placements, talking to venues about sponsoring shows, and meeting with artists and bands to see how PBR can be involved and help promote their shows.
One of Drehmel's most memorable events to date was the PBR Bedlam Blowout in 2010, which he then described as "a goddamn huge party with so many facets it'll make your head spin" -- including a dance area styled with a wolves' den art installation, live bands in the theater, fire breathers in the parking lot, roasted goat on the patio, and -- of course -- free PBR tallboys everywhere. While the annual PBR Blowout has been discontinued for now, Drehmel is focusing on teaming up with other music- and art-related events, helping to book and plan events, promote local music and art, and offer PBR tallboy specials to bars.
Asked whether he's worried about his personal life being overrun by his profession, he says he'd personally be at a lot of the events he attends for work anyway.
"The way I look at it, if it feels like work, I'm doing something wrong," he says. "So I try to have the best time I possibly can all the time."
- Age: 35. Title: Minneapolis market agent for Pabst Brewing Co.
- Hire date: December 2010
- Education: B.A. in journalism (with advertising emphasis) with minors in history and poetry from the University of St. Thomas